The Utah Attorney General’s office abruptly pulled the plug on an anti-child trafficking rally after it came to light that organizers of one of the groups involved are sympathetic to the QAnon conspiracy theory.
The “Freedom for the Children” rally was one of several planned in dozens of cities across the U.S. and worldwide under the banner of ending child trafficking.The event was heavily promoted by the Utah Attorney General’s office on their social media channels.
An investigation by NBC News found that many of the organizers of these events were believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory, and the Saturday demonstrations were heavily promoted by QAnon supporters.
QAnon is a right-wing conspiracy theory that posits in part that there is a secret cabal of cannibal pedophiles in the highest levels of the American government who are engaged in child sex trafficking.
Local organizers of Saturday’s rally, with the help of the AG’s office, were partnering with the Arizona-based “Freedom for the Children” organization to put on the event. After questions about the legitimacy of that group were raised with the AG’s office by UtahPolicy.com, organizers decided to nix the rally.
There is no mention of QAnon on any of Freedom for the Children’s social media, but one of the founders, Bhairavi Shera, had a post on their Instagram page that featured the #pizzagateisreal hashtag, which refers to the QAnon theory that Washington elites were operating a child sex ring out of the basement of a pizza parlor in Washington, D.C.
“In order to hold true to the integrity of the movement, I cannot confirm or deny my personal political, religious or health regulation beliefs, as a representative of the movement,’ Nichols told the online publication.
There is a separate anti-trafficking rally scheduled in Salt Lake City on Saturday that is part of the “Save our Children” movement, which NBC News revealed has been amplified online by QAnon-related groups.